New York wealth manager to plead guilty in fraud case

Former COO of M&R Capital Management was charged with bilking the firm of about $6 million

A New York wealth manager plans to plead guilty in a case where he’s accused of bilking his firm of about $6 million so he could sustain a lavish lifestyle.

Richard T. Diver, co-founder and former chief operating officer of M&R Capital Management, was arrested in March. He was charged with overbilling clients by hundreds of thousand of dollars and diverting millions from the company’s payroll to his own account.

Prosecutors on Monday asked a federal judge to postpone a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday, saying that Mr. Diver intends to plead guilty at the next available opportunity.

Mr. Diver’s lawyers didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which also sued Mr. Diver, said the scam was uncovered after M&R Capital’s chief executive received a complaint about the overcharges.

Mr. Diver admitted to the CEO that he had overbilled clients and said that he couldn’t pay the money back because he had “engaged in wild personal spending,” according to the SEC’s complaint. Mr. Diver was fired in December 2018.

Mr. Diver, who managed payroll and billed clients for advisory fees, was charged with investment adviser fraud, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison. He also was charged with wire fraud, which carries a possible five-year prison term. Prosecutors didn’t say to what he’d plead guilty.

New York-based M&R, which oversees $500 million, was founded by Mr. Diver and John E. Maloney in 1993. Mr. Diver owned 9% of the company, while Mr. Maloney focused on portfolio management and held the remaining 91%, according to the SEC’s complaint.

The case is U.S. v Diver, 19-cr-533, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

[More: SEC charges California RIA with fraud in connection with radio show]

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